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A model presents a creation by designer Stella McCartney Image Credit: REUTERS

Models wearing animal outfits joined the finale of Stella McCartney’s fur-free and leather-free show Monday, as the British-American designer continued to shine a light on the environment and animal cruelty in the industry. The show, which explored a chic cross-over silhouette in soft and huggable fabrics, was runway proof that ethically produced clothes can still have a strong luxury feel. Here are some highlights of autumn-winter 2020 shows.

STELLA MCCARTNEY

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A model presents a creation by designer Stella McCartney as part of her Fall/Winter 2020/21 women's ready-to-wear collection show during Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France, March 2, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw Image Credit: REUTERS

Long flappy belts and strips of fabric provided the vibrancy in Stella McCartney’s autumn collection that was otherwise missing amid the rather muted colour palette of “terrestrial tones.”

Inside the gilded salons of the Paris Opera, in her morning show, McCartney used the features in form to create a dynamic visual movement.

A nearly two-yard-long diagonal sash, held in place by two buttons, graced the front of a loose pastel-grey double-breasted suit to create a dynamic visual kinesis. Elsewhere, a long ribbed strap plunged down to the model’s knee from an abstractly shaped dark grey top, and a bone-coloured knitted dress hung heavily and limp with wavy ribbing. All these styles created a sense of clothes in action — an accomplished feat of design.

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A model presents a creation by designer Stella McCartney as part of her Fall/Winter 2020/21 women's ready-to-wear collection show during Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France, March 2, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw Image Credit: REUTERS

The collection, the house said, was inspired by Russian-born French modernist designer and illustrator Erte, who created dynamic and sometimes-windswept silhouettes, and whom McCartney met as a child.

Gold and silver animal jewellery in McCartney’s show added a playful touch, that crescendoed in the finale as 11 models walked the runway in full-on animal costumes, provoking laughs from tickled guests.

Behind the fun, lay a serious message.

None of these animals — cow, rabbit, bison, fox, crocodile — had been killed to produce the collection.

“We are proudly the only luxury fashion house in the world not putting real leather on our runway,” McCartney said. “And welcome our friends in fashion to join us.”

GIVENCHY

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A model presents a creation by Givenchy during the Women's Fall-Winter 2020-2021 Ready-to-Wear collection fashion show at the ParisLongchamp Racecourse in Paris, on March 1, 2020. / AFP / Lucas BARIOULET Image Credit: AFP

A rough concrete runway, red neon lights, models who strutted aggressively and machines that spewed out cold smoke gave Givenchy’s show production a tough edge — befitting of ‘Game of Thrones’ actress Maisie Williams, who rocked the front row with punk-like two-tone hair.

This season designer Clare Waight Keller said she channelled “the gritty heyday of French cinema,” in the show, entitled “Arthouse Beauty.”

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A model presents a creation by Givenchy during the Women's Fall-Winter 2020-2021 Ready-to-Wear collection fashion show at the ParisLongchamp Racecourse in Paris, on March 1, 2020. / AFP / Lucas BARIOULET Image Credit: AFP

But the so-called grit was scant in the clothes. It quickly gave way to a brooding and feminine collection of looks that riffed on geometry and played with form — with an ever-so-slight nod to “the silver screen allure” referenced in the show notes.

A beautiful multicoloured fur coat, that hung heavy and formless, had top panels that cleverly resembled a movie star’s stole from the studio era of Hollywood. Enormous graphic floppy hats in black shrouded the models’ faces in shadow, evoking a dramatic standoffish air. The same was true of crinkled leather opera gloves that covered up the arms completely in the styles of yesteryear.

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Kaia Gerber and other models present creations by designer Clare Waight Keller as part of her Fall/Winter 2020/21 women's ready-to-wear collection show for fashion house Givenchy during Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France, March 1, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY Image Credit: REUTERS

Yet this collection’s main theme was in the silhouette: Oversized tubular sleeves followed coats with razor-sharp lapels that looked like they had been cut with a scalpel. And voluminous proportions, especially in multitudinous 1970s’ pleated skirts, gave this collection a dynamic feeling.

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

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Models wear creations for the Alexander McQueen fashion collection during Women's fashion week Fall/Winter 2020/21 presented in Paris, Monday, March 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) Image Credit: AP

“We went to Wales and were inspired by the warmth of its artistic and poetic heritage,” said designer Sarah Burton of her autumn show.

The McQueen studio thus went to the least-explored country in the United Kingdom, in fashion terms, and came back with a motley assortment of fascinating and little-known references — and rich in check.

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A model presents a creation by Alexander McQueen during the Women's Fall-Winter 2020-2021 Ready-to-Wear collection fashion show in Paris, on March 2, 2020. / AFP / FRANCOIS GUILLOT Image Credit: AFP

A wool cashmere coat with blown-up black check and tight buckled belt, was inspired by the traditional Welsh blankets woven from the fleece of black sheep. A black leather bodice draped in a lilac and black check was spawned from the idea of a Welsh unisex shawl, that was known for its warmth and its capacity to carry children inside.

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A model presents a creation by Alexander McQueen during the Women's Fall-Winter 2020-2021 Ready-to-Wear collection fashion show in Paris, on March 2, 2020. / AFP / FRANCOIS GUILLOT Image Credit: AFP

Meanwhile, an aggressive-looking square-shouldered suit was made of patchwork and embroidered with patterns of doves, a panther, a horse and a leak — the latter the symbol of Wales. This look was inspired by a quilt at the National Museum of Wales.

The McQueen bar is set very high — and justifiably so — and sadly the garments in this collection, though beautifully constructed, at times felt a little unexciting.